Tips on getting the most out of your office Wi-Fi network

07 Dec 2015

securedWifiWe have all read how too many Christmas lights can slow down your Wi-Fi, but what else could be affecting office based Wi-Fi routers and how can you maximise their speed. We have put together this quick guide on what you can do in your office to make sure you’re getting the most out of your business Wi-fi network.

by GHM Communication’s Network Engineer, Louis Johnson.

It’s first good to know that Wi-Fi operates on 2 frequencies – 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz. Generally speaking 2.4GHz can cover a large area (for good coverage) and 5GHz can only cover a limit distance and the signal degrades through walls and other materials.

Most devices such as PC’s, Phones, Wireless Cameras, Microwaves etc operate on 2.4GHz,  so it becomes congested very easily. I’ve witnessed a case when a wireless network was brought to a grinding halt around lunch, and the management team thought it was because everyone was accessing personal webmail and social media at lunch, but it actually turned out to be because they use the two microwaves in mini kitchen, which happen to be near their Wireless Access Point, causing the interference!

This is a classic case of things businesses do wrong in Wireless Deployments.

However, 5Ghz is starting to become more popular with mobile devices such as Smart Phones and even some laptops are starting to use this higher frequency. The reason for this is whilst 5GHz has the limitations mentioned above, 5GHz is less congested as there are less devices using it. There are alo more channels available for use, meaning speeds can typically be quicker. Radar operates at 5GHz as well but all devices have to be compliant with DFS (not the sofa company, it’s a regulation) – Dynamic Frequency Selection, which automatically avoids collisions with Radar and other frequencies.

In fact, most Wireless Vendors include something called Band Steering, which means the Wireless Access Points will try and force a client device (such as a Smart Phone) to use 5Ghz rather than 2.4GHz, as long it is 5Ghz capable. This also helps free up the 2.4GHz spectrum.

Wi-Fi is also prone to EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference), for example large pieces of metal and power cables cause distortion and impact its coverage. So if someone was to place a Wireless Access Point in a metal cabinet or near a large source of power, this would degrade service.

So, to get the most out of your business Wi-Fi, consider following these 3 simple top tips:

Don’t place access points or routers too near other sources of interference such as Microwaves, Wireless Cameras, Large Metal Cabinets/Objects

Make sure you are utilising the 5GHz network

Avoid poor access point placement – ideally your access point needs to be high and central to the area intended to cover

If you don’t think your business Wi-Fi system or business telephone system is working as efficiently as it should be we would always be happy to offer additional advice.

 

GHM supply business telephone systems in Oxfordshire and business Wi-Fi Networks. We are a Samsung Platinum Partner providing the latest Samsung Telephone Systems.

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